One day a former Dopper employee walks into your shop and buys your drawing of the Empire State Building. Little did you know that one year later, Merijn Everaarts, Founder of Dopper, would park his wooden bicycle (such a Dutchie) outside your shop and ask you to create a design for the Plastic Bridge Dopper.
This was exactly what happened to Nadia Ackerman a.k.a. Natchie, an Australian artist and singer songwriter who lives in New York. When contacted by Merijn for the Plastic Bridge Project, she jumped on board at kangaroo speed. ‘I am a very driven person. So when I agreed to design the Brooklyn Bridge Dopper, I said to Merijn “would you also like a song with that?”’ And some ketchup, yes please!
Draw me a song
Nadia has been singing professionally since she was 15 years old. Singing was all she ever did. ‘I didn’t even own a sketchbook up until five years ago. At that time, I just sort of had an epiphany. I started to envision my songs as drawings. So I started to make illustrations of my records. With the Brooklyn Bridge Dopper, the inverse happened: I wrote the song ‘Be The Messenger’ inspired by the message of the Dopper design.’
How do you sing about plastic?
‘Sing me a song about plastic, man, sing me a song tonight. ‘Cause we’re all in the mood to become plastic free, and you’ve got to sing it alright.’ Luckily, I’m not the songwriter in this project, Nadia is. ‘It’s a difficult topic for a song’, she tells us. ‘How do you sing about plastic without it becoming sad or childlike? But I’m very happy with the result. It’s a cool and positive song about a plastic free world and I hope it gets the message across!’ It has a Plastic Bridge to support it, so we think it will.
Get something started
Nadia is an animal lover, people person and changemaker. ‘I am a vegan, and I am very much aware of my ecological footprint. That’s why the Plastic Bridge Project is really close to my heart. I want it to make a huge impact. Have thousands and thousands of people buy the Dopper with the Brooklyn Bridge on it. Not because of the revenue, but because of the message it carries. The goal is to raise awareness. Whether it’s because of the song, the bridge itself, or the Dopper I designed, I want this project to get people in motion, visiting the website or just thinking about the plastic issue. I want to let them know that everybody can make a difference. Even if it’s just by not using plastic straws or single-use water bottles.’
For the Plastic Bridge Project, the Dopper Foundation is incorporating all kinds of art forms: the Plastic Bridge itself, the Brooklyn Bridge Dopper, a song, a book, a play… ‘This is truly an amazing project. Kids are the ones to make a change and I think art is one of the only ways to connect with the younger generation.’